Now, I’m not here to brag about College football, just making some Kingdom Observations. For football fans, last night and for the next few days, there is an air of excitement. It’s the NFL selecting which players will have an opportunity to take their skill sets to the next level. I admit that though I’m not exactly an NFL fan, I did watch the first round last night. Reason being is that I wanted to see how players from THE University of Alabama would fare, and how the Southeastern Conference fared. And once again, the dominant program of the dominant Conference can celebrate success. Out of 32 players selected, 10 came from the SEC, and of that 10, 4 came from Alabama. Both numbers more than any other Conference or School. I’m just sayin’…
All this got me to thinking this morning. I know, I know. I think differently from most folks. Some folks think I live in my own little world, but that’s OK. They actually like me here. The thought I had this morning is this: What if there was a draft when Jesus was selecting His disciples? A little background.
Back in the day when the Creator walked in His creation as one HE created, there were a lot of Rabbis and what we might call Rabbinical Schools League. We usually think of a Rabbi as a “teacher”. But that word “Rabbi” means someone who is a master and in their culture, a master of the Word of God. And Rabbis would often have “schools”, so what if there was a draft for who would get into which school. Picture this, if you can.
Rabbis from around the region gather in Jerusalem in a room. They are busy reading scouting reports about potential students. They cast lots (because that’s just a thing they did) and an order of drafting is established. What qualities are they looking for in a future student/disciple? Probably they are looking for the cream of the crop. The best educated and most honorable men available. They would look for people from the largest towns. Men who were well-groomed and noble. After all, no Rabbi worth his weight in salt would want anything less. Fast forward now.
The Disciple Draft is over and the experts are giving their analysis on how the Rabbis did and who did the best. “This year’s Draft is now over, and we have a new School in the League: The School of Rabbi Jesus. Now here are the 12 students that this Nazarene Rabbi Jesus selected in this year’s draft and how they are seen by the rest of us.:
- Simon Peter. He is a fisherman from Bethsaida by the Sea of Galilee. Not exactly a thriving metropolis. And education? How much education is needed to throw a net and pull it back in, again and again and again?
- Andrew. He seems to have no identity of his own. His identity seems to always be the brother of Simon Peter. He was also a known student of that wild man, John the Baptist. Seems to have trouble settling down with just one Rabbi.
- James. Like Andrew, he seems to have no identity on his own; always known as the brother of John. Like Simon and Andrew, he is also from Bethsaida and a known fisherman. Also has another nickname, “Son of Thunder”, for his father Zebedee. It would appear that this family has a reputation for being quite loud.
- John. Just another fisherman from the same little village. Rumor has it he is very much like his father, Zebedee. A chip off the old “Son of Thunder” block. It is also reported he has issues with people who reject him or his friends.
- Philip. Another one from Bethsaida. This is the most any Rabbi has ever taken in the draft from this insignificant fishing village. Not much is known about him at this point. However, rumor has it he can run really fast. Perhaps that is good, IF the Schools of Rabbis League ever has a field and track event. This selection just seems to add more head scratching to why Rabbi Jesus is selecting these men.
- Thaddeus. He is also known as Jude, which makes one wonder what he has to hide. Another unknown selected by Rabbi Jesus. He appears to be much older than the others selected. Not exactly what is needed for this new Rabbi’s School. You would think He would focus on someone much younger.
- Bartholomew, A.K.A., Nathaniel. Much, so much, is unknown about him as well. However he is known to be a bit of a snob, even questioning the area Rabbi Jesus came from. Reportedly he Tweeted, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” But this just seems to be another in a long line of questionable draft choices.
- Thomas. This man is totally unknown. He only thing we may assume about him is that he has a twin somewhere. How does that qualify him for being a disciple of any Rabbi?
- James The Less. Unlike Rabbi Jesus’ selection of the much older Bartholomew, James the Less is the exact opposite. He’s younger and reportedly shorter than the others. But he certainly fits in with all the others drafted–“The Less”. Maybe Jesus should have stuck to carpentry.
- Matthew. Perhaps the most questionable draft selection by Rabbi Jesus. Though certainly educated, this man is not even permitted to enter any synagogue, and certainly not The Temple. He is a Tax Collector, and this makes him a collaborator with the occupying Romans. No one in the community likes him, except the local sinners. What is this Rabbi thinking with?
- Simon the Zealot. This selection is perhaps the second worst behind Matthew. He is a known member of a radical group that has been listed by Rome as a Terrorist Organization. This certainly puts this new Rabbi under the microscope of Caesar, which is not a good place to be.
- Judas Iscariot. This is the most reasonable draft selection by Jesus in this whole class. Judas is from the Tribe of Judah, a well-known and solid family in Israel. Of this year’s class, Judas is a great choice on the surface. Unique to him is that he and Jesus are from the same Tribe, Judah. One would think Jesus would have selected more from his own Tribe, but no other Judeans were selected; only Jesus and Judas have this honor.. It is a wonder that the other Rabbis did not select Judas, so it is really lucky that Rabbi Jesus was able to snatch this man. The only strike against Judas are the rumors that he is a member of the Scarii, another known terrorist organization characterized by their use of long daggers to assassinate those they consider a danger to Israel.
“In the view of this reporter, the success or failure of this Rabbi clearly hinges on his selections in subsequent drafts, because there is nothing here to indicate this Rabbi will make any impact in the nation now. If future drafts look like this one, do not expect Rabbinical School of Jesus to hang around very long. I would say after just 3 years, you won’t hear anything about Rabbi Jesus and His School. Without a defined location, simply moving from place to place, we do not expect this Rabbi’s School to draw in many students. He’s making it too hard for anyone to follow Him. Look for Judas to jump ship to another School. He’s too good not to!”
Last night it was all about the best of the best, those who had already proven themselves and their skill sets. None of those selected by Jesus were among the very best. The above analysis would have been true, based on what they knew about these 12 draftees. There is more here than meets the eye. And there is more to others, more to you, than what meets the eye of so-called experts.
It is this group of The Least Likely that literally turned the world right-side-up back then. It seems that Jesus has a knack for bringing things out of people that others don’t see in them, and that they don’t see in themselves. And it is still the way Jesus works today. So, if you feel like you are the least talented, least gifted–if you see your past track record as a complete failure–then get ready for Jesus to call your name in “The Draft”. Two thousand years later, the technique of Rabbi Jesus has a proven track record. Trust Jesus with what He wants to do with your life. He does know what He is doing–even if the world calls Him crazy!
Love God with all your heart. Love others the way Jesus loves you. And make sure all the glory goes to Him!